Alright. On my way to the stadium now. Let’s see what happens tonight.

Kaká reiterated a similar sentiment, saying the Montreal match is a chance to show his team is together.

And, as I said, it’s a great opportunity to help them and to say, to show them that we are together. Of course, we are not agree with the situation and with what Cyle did. And we know how serious is that. But, as I said, here, we are his teammates, and we are going to support him in this situation to get out of that the best way and with the best lessons for him. I think he’s gonna pay a lot in all sense, and now, as a teammate, I think our behavior and what we need to do now it’s be with him, saying that we are not agree with this situation, but we still love Cyle Larin.

It’s a great opportunity to be together as well. So, we are gonna show how strong this group is. So, again, this is a great opportunity to show them that we are together, that we are going to face this situation together. And what a great opportunity we have tomorrow.

Tonight’s match against Montreal is a chance for Kreis’ Lions to show resolution in the face of adversity.

Again, part of the message this morning, for me, is that this is a little bit about life now. We all go through very difficult circumstances. We all make mistakes. We all have things that happen bad in our lives that we don’t like and we don’t want to deal with. And so now it’s about how are we going to react to that. And from my point of view, I look at this and want to spin this immediately and say really, really difficult situation that we’re in, both on the match and from Cyle’s decision the night after the match. And it’s on us to have a positive reaction to that. It’s on us, now—I think we—this is a moment and an opportunity for us to come together tighter than we ever have before and show our fans and our people what we’re made of and who we are.

Between the Lions’ first-ever opening U.S. Open Cup loss and Larin’s DUI, Kreis has had a personally trying week.

I have not [had a situation like Larin’s DUI before]. I would say that that adds to a little bit of my disappointment because I intend to lead the group in a certain way. I intend to be clear in my communication of what is acceptable and what is not. We intended—we went into this offseason trying to do something a little different, to make sure that the players understood that how they act in this community and the decisions that they make when they were in public are really, really important things to us. So, to have this situation occur after we give that communication was difficult—very, very difficult. But, for me, on a personal level, I hope that that I lead a group based on my actions to show that this type of situation is also unacceptable. And I take it as a little bit of a mark on myself as well.

Despite his lack of a team-curfew policy, Kreis told his team during the offseason that excessive partying would no longer be acceptable.

You know, during the offseason, we had several occasions where we were with some of our most ardent fans, and we—I had heard directly from some of those fans that [a lot of partying was] happening a little bit too much. That’s why we went into the preseason and were very clear with our messaging for the players that this was no longer gonna be acceptable.

Kreis isn’t one to keep tabs on his players, with regard to curfews.

You know, it’s a—from a philosophical-leadership point of view, it’s not something that I try to keep tabs on. I think these are grown men, and so I’m not going to—we don’t set curfews. We don’t set strict rules about players not being able to go out or be out at a certain time. But at the same point, then, if we’re gonna give players that much respect and that much leeway, they need to be held accountable for their decisions, as Cyle is now. And as I said before, this isn’t just a Cyle Larin situation. When it comes to the discipline of this, it’s now affecting the entire team and the entire club.

“Together” has been a common theme for Kreis in his first full season as the Lions’ head coach.

It affects the entire team. But then we need to move on from that and say that we’re family. And family members forgive. And we try to help each other in these times of need.

Here’s Kreis with his statement to the media at training on Friday.

Cyle is obviously distraught and very, very disappointed, I think, in himself and his decision but is wanting to move forward as quickly as possible. And so—you know, at the moment, I think that the most important thing—are two things, really. I think from a leadership of this club and this team, this organization, it’s important that we make it very clear that we’re not happy with his decision. We disagree vehemently, and it goes against what we’ve tried to establish here in this club and how we want to comport ourselves publicly.

Not any specific storylines relating to tonight’s game, but I will pull some significant quotes from Friday’s training from head coach Jason Kreis and team captain Ricardo Kaká.

Orlando City SC will be without forward Cyle Larin because of a DUI charge that has him suspended from league play until he completes the Major League Soccer Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health program. The Lions will also miss midfielder Antonio
Nocerino
after he earned a red card in a 0-0 draw with the Chicago Fire on June 4.

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